Formalizing Style to Understand Descriptions of Software Architecture

Gregory Abowd, Robert Allen, and David Garlan

ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology 4(4):319-364, October 1995.

Online links: Postscript PDF

The software architecture of most systems is usually described informally and diagrammatically by means of boxes and lines. In order for these descriptions to be meaningful, the diagrams are understood by interpreting the boxes and lines in specic, conventionalized ways. The informal, imprecise nature of these interpretations has a number of limitations. In this paper we consider these conventionalized interpretations as architectural styles and provide a formal framework for their uniform denition. In addition to providing a template for precisely dening new architectural styles, this framework allows for analysis within and between dierent architectural styles.
software architecture, software design, architectural style, architectural description, architectural analysis, formal specification, the Z notation

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